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BeOS For Linux! 266

Patrick Mullen writes: "Hey, BeOS for Linux has been released. Be doesn't seem to show this off on their page, so I've created a mirror of it. I'm not sure if it works on PPC, but it sure works on Intel. Download here."
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BeOS For Linux!

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    After all, it's just another closed source operating system

    That should be labeled "troll", not "insightful".

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dunno bout benchmarking, but as I understand it, neither windows nor linux can claim full CPU usage in a SMP system. So it seems it would be fairly much impossible for either of them to even compete with Be, which uses 100%.

    I think this is simply because no one makes SMP apps for linux or windows. There is just no demand. So the OS will have to try and make up for that with all these apps that aren't even thread safe.

    As for Be's UI, download and try it. It's far from perfect, but compared to what else is on the market, it's heaven.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is old, old news, as it was released the at same time as BeOS for Windows, however, in an effort to spare you 40 megs and a few hours here's the readme.

    BeOS Personal Edition for Linux

    To boot the Personal Edition partition image, place it at in a
    directory called 'beos' at any root point on a ext2 partition. ex,
    /beos/, or if you have /home on a seperate partition, it could be
    placed at /home/beos/

    Then create a boot floppy from floppy.img, and reboot!
    (try dd if=floppy.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 conv=sync; sync )

    This configuration is provided for your enjoyment, and is NOT supported by
    Be, Inc. Please don't ask us for help and support on making this work.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Be Inc have been very generous with the specs for their OS. As a developer for it myself, I find it very easy to find stuff out. Eg: the specs for BFS, the BMessages, the shelves, ... all this is documented by Be.

    IMO, Specs are much more important than source. Nobody (except Be) is going to seriously do anything with the highly optimised, very complicated BeOS source anyway.

    Source is old as soon as its written, Specs stay with us longer.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So does it have any development tools?

    I downloaded the Windows release and found the development folder empty. No compiler, linker, headers, ide, debugger, nada. Some of the sample apps didn't work. Three of my machines (Windows98) refused to run when launched from the desktop - I needed a boot disk. An all of them locked up overnight (I did turn on the screensaver maybe they all crashed?)

    I found it odd that they just didn't add a boot loader, include development tools and change their foreign file system access to write to the partitions.

    Not to slam the whole lot of you readers but I found it odd that for a "geek community" nobody mentioned this? I guess no one downloaded it for the sake of coding?

    And yes, I was a large BeOS advocate two years ago, but with the recent evacuation of key people I don't put too much faith in the company. In case you haven't head, Dominic and Pavel have left and several kernel/driver and app engineers as well. (Dominic wrote their amazing filesystem.)

    Be is now moving into the area of "internet appliances" with the thought that they their speed and robustness will make up for their size and lack of experience in the embedded market. I wish them good luck, but I'd rather have their technology for my own projects.

  • Somebody in an earlier post mentioned that Be tried to sell their own hardware before becoming a strictly software company. That reminded me of the much-hyped "geek port" that the Be PPC boxen sported. Just what was this thing anyway? Any links for specs? I seem to remember a lot of magazine quotes along the lines of "mmm... geeeek poort" (voice of Homer J. Simpson). So what was this uber-cool interface anyway?
  • Okay, I booted the thing, I'm posting this with BeOS... This time I stuck it on another drive, but it turns out the drive wasn't the issue. All my stuff is on an extended partition, so it's more of a DOS compatibility issue than a Linux one. (the installer didn't find anything in extended partitions when I checked it, but BeOS can read the raw drive just fine. Am I doing something wrong?)

    Anyhow, first impressions: networking was really easy to set up, since it knows about my 3c905, and the layout UI is some MacOS / Windows hybrid which should be easy for novices to figure out. However, the command prompt is GNU Utils all the way, with should be great for us power users who don't care about that darn GUI thing. :)

    My video card isn't supported out of the box, (it's a crappy Trident PCI card) so this is all in 640x480, grayscale. I don't have sound yet, but my TV card works, and since I have networking I'm going to look for drivers now. The default web browser is okay, (loads slashdot, lets me log in, can't see my user page though) and once Be gets more driver support out-of-the-box, (I guess there's more on the CD) and more applications running on it, (Windows compatibility layer?) this should be a killer OS! I like the anti-aliased text, even in grayscale. I'd like to see that on X more often...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • No, it doesn't, or I'd do that in Linux. :)

    Thanks, though. There aren't as many VESA 2.0 compliant video cards out there as you might think. (this compared to ATAPI CD-ROM drives, say.) I hate proprietary hardware interfaces...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • First off, the Linux download is smaller. The disk images are exactly the same, but Windows users get an installer, and some tools they need to get it working / make it easier.

    I know because before I found the Linux version, I was trying to get the Windows version to work. I eventually managed to get all the files extracted using Wine, and it has a disk image, a file system image, etc.

    The disk images for Windows and Linux are different; the (512 MB!) file system image is the same.

    BeOS can't find its file system image with either disk. I put all its stuff in '/home/beos', which is a separate partition on my machine, so this should work. It bitches about the superblock, I tried enabling/disabling DMA transfers, etc., etc.

    Does support for IDE harddrives or ext2 under BeOS blow this bad, or is it just me? I'm using pretty generic hardware here...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • Actually, it's silly for Apple not to allow BeOS on their hardware, because Apple makes much more money from hardware sales than from OS sales.

    So they conceivably gain an OS upgrade sale, at the expense of losing a much bigger profit on their hardware (which they would have gotten had they not forced BeOS to intel).

    Please stop rationalizing Jobs' petty little ego trips and passing them off as logic, OK?

  • Hey, come on...

    Be isn't Microsoft. They don't have the clout of Microsoft to get hardware vendors to sign exclusive NDA agreements to keep the info for hardware secret...oh, wait, I've said too much...

    Fact of the matter is, it's an OS originally developed for Apple, who, in thanks, backstabbed them and signed on Steve "I have a company of artists, not developers, and who gives a shit if Pixar makes me most my money" Jobs so they could shoehorn MacOS into OpenStep/Mach. The fact is, because it's a closed-source OS, they don't have that incredible user-support base that Linux/BSD has.

    So, if you'd like the media OS to support your card (because, hey, if it doesn't support *your* stuff, the claims must not be true, huh? :^P) then lobby Be and ATI in a *nice* way, certainly nicer than your post here. Hard-working folks really don't like folks to simply whine about their problems; they do, however, like constructive criticism and hints.

    If I didn't know any better, I'd almost be tempted to say you're a Microsoft troll. :^P

  • A 40MB download for an OS release that is supposed to run on another OS ??? No link to what that is supposed to mean ??? This makes no sense, it is not even funny. Besides, it's April 2nd now...
  • A computer program is protected by copyright because it constitutes a literary work under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.[2] From a purchaser's point of view, unless there is some agreement with the owner of the intellectual property in the program, it is almost impossible to use software without infringing the copyright. This is because, in order to load and run a program, the program has to be copied from its permanent storage medium, into the computer. Legitimate use of software therefore depends on having the permission of the owner of the copyright.

    That's pure fiction. There's no legal basis for such a conclusion. Even if it could be argued that the copyright owner didn't grant you an implied license to run a computer program by giving you a copy, it's obvious that execution, or any similar operation which requires the production of an intermediate copy to enable your use of a lawfully aquired copy is considered fair use. Copying a program from disk to memory is no different than copying a DVD onto VHS so you can watch it in a place where you have only a VCR, or photocopying pages out of a book onto 11x17 paper so you can read them with your poor eyesight. All these operations are perfectly legal.

    So how could someone downloading the beos.tar.gz from an ftp-server know he acted legal unless he finds a text inside giving him the permission to do so.

    He already had permission to download that was granted when the file was placed on a publicly accessable FTP site.

    It was stated that the linux-package wasn't announced on Perhaps I'm ignorant, but downloading something isn't legal just because you can.

    If it's on a publicly accessable site, a member of the public is not breaking the law by downloading it.

  • What about distributing it? IIRC, distributing copyrighted work without permission is illegal. Does the fact that it was on a public server give implicit rights to redistribute it?

    You have the same rights with a book or software you lawfully aquired by download as you would have if you bought that book or software at a store. You can transfer the book or software to someone else only if you do so completely, without retaining a (photo)copy for yourself.

  • If a bundle of hundred dollar bills is left in the middle of the street, is it a crime to take that money and use it for your own purposes because it was in a public place?

    If you've deliberately abandon your own property in a public place, you've in effect surrendered your property rights to the first taker. (Parking a vechicle isn't considered abandoning it for obvious reasons, including the ignition lock and registration, so I don't even want to hear that lame argument. Accidentally lost property differs from abandoned property for similar reasons - but it's not at issue here, since you're talking about money that was "left" or abandoned in the street.)


    If this was the case, it would be impossible to give things away.

    It's time to get off the crack and actually learn something about the subject before shooting off your mouth. Just because a piece of software is on a publically-accessible FTP site doesn't indicate anything about its legal status.

    It sure does. If you've aquired the software from a public FTP site in good faith, then you've lawfully aquired it. Sure, aquiring Microsoft Office from .rar might not be considered an aquisition in good faith, but there's no question that grabbing beos via anonymous FTP from is. Having lawfully aquired the software by download, you have all the same rights as if you had lawfully aquired it in a cash for box swap at a software store.

    Are you really that stupid?!

    No, I'm not. But perhaps you are.

  • About your first point, yes there this aspect of fair use. But here it's more like a friend giving me a cd of photoshop. Now it's clearly not fair use if I install it on my computer without purchasing a license.

    Your friend, having lawfully aquired Photoshop, is free to give it to you provided he doesn't keep any copies for himself. Then you, having lawfully aquired the CD as a gift from your friend, are free to use it fairly by installing and running it on your PC.

  • But when I find and download a copy of a new game on tripod (without it being advertized as warez) and download it, isn't this illegal?

    Someone's breaking the law here - but it's probably not you. You'd be no more at fault than if you had bought a book at a bookstore that later turned out to be counterfeit.

  • your DMA, IRQ, and memory ranges are probably incorrectly configured. Try booting from the boot disk and checking the settings via the Preferences/Devices menu. Booting from the boot disk should remove any vestiges of Windows and its grasp on your hardware.
  • I brought this the slashdots attention, with the correct information, the minute it got released, but that article was knocked back, but this one, less informed did make it through.
  • Excuse me? QT 2 what? You mean the MFC ripoff is better than...

    Huh? In what way does the Qt API resemble the MFC API? MFC's API is a very thin layer over the Win32 API, it doesn't really abstract away from it at all. Thus, it's absolutely horid to work with. Whether Qt's API is great to work with or not is a matter of opinion, but you'd have to be brain dead to think it resembles the MFC API in any significant way. It's certainly not a rip-off of it. The look and feel may be, but the API isn't.

    Though I'd agree that QT smells a bit better han MFC...

    Not sure what this means, but I suspect you're babbling about the "look & feel" of the toolkits, which has nothing to do with what this thread was about: the API of the toolkits.


  • $ lynx -dump | grep -i linux

    Nothing. So what should I read there?
  • If it's nowhere on Be's servers, how, why and from where did this guy mirror it?
  • Linux is free enough for me. The difference between BSD's license and the GPL is only relevant if you want to write closed source software yourself. I don't, and it seems many /.ers don't either. Therefore, there isn't a good reason why Linux gets more press than the BSDs. Maybe it's that more people are using Linux, regardless of technical merit. I might try BSD sometime if Debian/FreeBSD ever materializes, but I don't have the time to jump into a whole new Unix. I concur that there are too many stories about very minor releases of Linux stuff, usually with nothing particularly interesting new in the release. (and definitely not mentioned in the article, even if some big important changes happened.)
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • I'm always suspicious of people who say that linux users don't care about the free speech aspect, when that person doesn't use Linux themselves. (I'm assuming that be-fan is a Be user, and maybe an occasional linux user.) It's not surprising that the people who don't use linux are the ones who don't care about the free speech aspect of the license. I love having the kernel source. Even if I wasn't much of a programmer, I could recompile it to tune it for my hardware. I was recompiling the kernel before I'd looked at the source, so you don't have to be a programmer to do it or appreciate it.
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • I helped a friend set up a system with win, Be, and Linux. In /etc/lilo.conf, I put
    other=/dev/hda3 # the BeOS partition

    BeOS can boot off its partition, like windoze. (and linux if you install a lilo boot sector at the start of the partition as well as on the mbr.)
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >People tout BeOS's speed... but I wonder if it's >just a UI look and feel issue, due to BeOS not >having the overhead that X does.

    Could be a part of it.

    >Has anyone objectively benchmarked BeOS SMP
    >performance vs. Windows NT, Linux 2.2/2.3,
    >(insert your favorite)BSD, Solaris x86, etc.?

    Benchmarks don't always reflect real world

    The main advantage BeOS has is that it is designed to use threads pretty much throught the
    entire system. For example, every window opened
    by an application has its own message thread, which the OS can distribute among CPUs according
    to load.

    Also, the UI kit is thread-safe so you
    can spawn worker threads to perform other operations and still deal with incoming messages/repaint events (QT isn't threadsafe, gtk+ wasn't
    the last time I checked).

  • This is not normal! Normally you *NEVER* need to reboot BeOS for *ANYTHING*, any more than you need to reboot a well-configured Linux box. At least on my system, BeOS is just as stable as Linux (neither one has ever crashed) and the only thing preventing me from having insane uptimes is rebooting to Win98 to play MindRover []. Installing new hardware is a breeze, too - BeOS boots up in the normal 5 seconds after the install and everything is working fine. You can reconfigure things like the network and multimedia subsystems without ever needing to do more than configure & restart the service.

    However, in this particular case, the 3c509 driver is BROKEN and requires you to reboot. There were similar driver nuisances with earlier Linux versions, too - ever hear from someone who had to boot DOS and initialize their soundcard before Linux would use it? Driver support can be a royal PITA.

    Also, BeOS is a LOT closer to Linux than Windows. Don't let the Evil Corporate Backing scare you off. The OS isn't opensource but it's very opensource friendly - half the utilities are GNU and Be has opensourced some of the UI. Frankly, I consider it being like Linux with a much better user interface, much easier hardware configuration (no work is hard to beat) and a tighter architecture. The downsides are some difficulties porting Unix code that depends on a couple things like mmap() or sockets-as-files and a much weaker network subsystem. (Of course, Linux's network code makes most other operating systems look bad, too.)

  • [the ESS 1868 chipset]. It pains me to throw away a perfectly good full-duplex 16-bit sound card and go buy SBLives.
    There are those who would say that you'd only be giving up "a perfectly good full-duplex 16-bit sound card" if you had another one in the machine to go with the ESS. <g> This subject came up just recently on the BeUserTalk mailing list: are/beusertalk/m27160.html [] is from the guy who wrote the ESS driver for BeOS, as is are/beusertalk/m27115.html []. (His Other postings [])

    (the Be Adventure [] was also worth reading).

  • Someone posted something similar on one of the Be lists - he did an upgrade and moved the old HD into the new box. BeOS boots flawlessly with everything working. Inspired by this, he then swapped that drive into a couple other boxes he had with identical results except for (IIRC) a sound card that wasn't supported. This is what PnP is supposed to Be like!
  • may not be on the web site, but it's on their ftp: r.gz []

    should be on mirrors as it propogates (sp?)

    If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...

  • Well, that link mentios nothing about Linux, it does say:

    Q: Does this mean BeOS 5 Personal Edition runs "under" Windows?
    A: No. Although you can launch BeOS via a file within Windows, BeOS does not run as a Windows application. Double-clicking the file will exit Windows and boot BeOS from a large file in the FAT file system which contains within it a BFS volume.

    I guess the setup for Linux is similar. It's not exactly for Linux though, is it?

  • by mschmitt ( 2947 )
    Come on. You can't just refer to a 40 Meg tarball withouting saying a single word what this might be about. "BeOS for Linux" doesn't sound very plausible to me in any way.

    Please don't simply post a submission like this without a single comment.
  • Yeah, as I said, the 3c509 driver has some quirks - and they're compounded by the fact that BeOS r5 handles drivers a little differently.

    I don't remember not being able to just restart networking in r4 after editing the config file - under r5, restarting actually rewrites the config file first, which undoes the changes you made - hence the need to reboot. If there was a method of restarting the networking subsystem WITHOUT rewriting the config files (such as a command-line app I may not yet be aware of) then I'm sure you could accomplish this without rebooting.

    Another little issue with the 3c509 driver under r5 is that after installing the driver, opening the network prefs panel crashes the system. I don't remember this happening under r4 either (it has been a while since I installed the card in r4) - this is obviously due to 1) the driver being a little buggy, and 2) r5 handling the drivers a bit differently.

    It would be nice if someone managed to write a driver for the 3c509 that didn't have these problems - but once you have the card configured, you really don't see the problems, as you really should only have to configure networking ONCE.

    (On a side note, you can do all of the config from the Network conf file - including enabling the telnet and ftp servers, without needing the prefs app -- the only thing that's a bit tricky is setting a password, as it's encrypted - but the same encrypted string will pass the same password on another machine - so you can just get a buddy with a supported networking card to set his machine with your password, then copy the encrypted string to your conf file, and you're set)

    If you take a look at the driver author's site (which I don't know off the top of my head - if you look for the driver over at you'll find a link to it) you'll see that there has been a bit of an impasse with progress on the driver - some sort of disagreement with the 3c509 LINUX driver developers (he probably used some of their code) the basic point of which is that he can't release his source, and has stopped distributing the driver himself. If anyone knows more about this, feel free to add in what you know.
  • Something you may want to be aware of:

    The 3c509 driver DOES work with BeOS r5 - but it does have some quirks. Follow the instructions that come with it -- but make sure you enable EVERYTHING you want to run (telnet/ftp servers, username & password especially) before you edit the Network config file (a required part of installing the driver). The reason why? Once you switch the driver path over to the 3c509 driver, and reboot to restart networking (since restarting it from the prefs panel rewrites the file you just modified), opening the Network Prefs panel WILL crash your machine. But - the card will work.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    Make sure the card is NOT in PnP mode if it's the ISA model - use the util on the 3Com floppy (I think it's 3c5x9cfg.exe) to turn off PnP -- set an IRQ and mem addy yourself, and save it to the card - remember what you set it to, and use those to configure the card under Be.
  • by SEE ( 7681 )
    It is on Be's servers, it just isn't mentioned in the web pages. Just use one of the ftp download sites instead of the web download sites listed at

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • People tout BeOS's speed... but I wonder if it's just a UI look and feel issue, due to BeOS not having the overhead that X does.

    Has anyone objectively benchmarked BeOS SMP performance vs. Windows NT, Linux 2.2/2.3, (insert your favorite)BSD, Solaris x86, etc.?
  • Besides the fact that drivers, apps, games, and hardware vendor support are all far better for linux, than for BeOS....

    You changed one word: you changed closed, to open.

    Linux has a *larger* group of users, interested in getting things to work, simply because it's open.

    Try subscribing to linux-kernel, kde-devel, or any other big linux mailing list, to see it in action.

    That's the difference between BeOS and Linux. That's why slashdot readers favor linux over BeOS, in the majority.
  • Kindly define for me the Linux API.

    I'd say that, as far as kernels go, the good old unix/posix/whatever API is the gold standard. BeOS even touts POSIX compliance.

    If you want to talk GUIs, you really can't say that any one GUI API is the "Linux" API. That's one strength of linux: choice. You can use C, C++, objective c, perl, python, tcl, lisp, or one of many other languages to do real GUI programming.

    Now, before saying that BeOS's C++ api is better than any Linux C++ API, try looking at Qt 2.

    Regarding speed, see my "Followup Question" elsewhere in this thread.
  • You can create a partition for Be and load its bootloader onto your drive's boot sector but this must be done from inside Be. Don't you think not having a floppy is kinda dumb?
  • Floppies have saved my life (well, saved my hard work). If your boot sector ever gets fscked and you don't have a bootable NIC you neeeeeed a floppy.
  • I grabbed it on the 28th too, and the image/boot disk setup worked like a charm. Just a shame that my Ensoniq SoundScape (AD1848 chipset) is silent under the BeOS-- and from looking at the drivers sites, it's going to stay that way :-(

    Y'all don't forget to download, y'hear? An OS isn't an OS when it doesn't have [a-z]*cc somewhere!

    What I really like about FreeBe (aside from the merits of BeOS as a media operating system) is that it's going to be an awesome platform for acid-testing the cross-platformness of software. The filesystem layout has only a hint of UNIX to it, and of course the OS facilities are very different from UNIX-like systems (standard POSIX being the only constant). A lot of software packages out there that build on Linux/UNIX are not going to build on BeOS, and in a lot of cases, it's going to be because of silly little UNIX-centric assumptions in the configure script, or the code, or wherever. Here, now, is an opportunity to get rid of those!

    Methinks a lot of maintainers are going to be getting patches to that effect, in these coming months ;-) I know I'm going to make sure my stuff can build on Be.
  • The image file / boot floppy setup is really nice if you don't want to go through the ordeal of repartitioning, but having to pull out a floppy everytime you want to start up BeOS is kind of annoying too.

    Is there a way to set up LILO so that it can read the floppy image off an ext2 partition, and "boot" it? So that no floppy drive is ever involved? That would be very handy.
  • Auctally, it says
    "Unfortunately, BeOS 5 Personal Edition, because of technical
    reasons, can only recognize one processor."
    Those technical reasons are the fact that your average joe will be using Windows 9x, and just running the bootstrap inside windows.
    Windows 9x does not support SMP, it disables any other CPU's.
    So in order to get SMP, you have to use the bootdisk.
    I beleive has something about it..
    ahhh, here..
  • Uhm,
    actually it's the other way around.
    If there's no license granting you to do anything with that 40MB data you just downloaded, you're effectivly warezing.
    It's not all allowed what is not explicitly forbidden.
  • It's funny. Yes, it does support SMP, unless you are booting from windows9x, which disables SMP.... but I have to wonder..
    What idiot would be running win9x on an SMP box anyway??

  • The linux "version" of BeOS PE was released at the same time as the windows version.

    If you FTP'd to the mirrors, you would of seen it.

  • Its not totally closed source. Besides using some GNU tools Be has opened Tracker and Deskbar, thevery heart of the UI under a BSD-like license. It actually has quite a few good applications. Gobe is good from what I heard, have to try it one day. Its got a few games and hardware support from people how make professional sound and video editing cards. There are several features that didn't make it in for launch too. A total network rewrite (BONE) , full OpenGL support and personnel Java just to name a few. They should come out as an update later on in the year.
  • I have a 10GB drive which the BIOS seems to think is 540MB (despite the fact that the BIOS date is 1998 and supports LBA). I have a 2 GB partition which LILO refuses to boot (It was windows, so I didn't care and simply didn't use it).

    Bootman had no trouble booting it. I thought it wasn't going to work but I tried it anyway. It rules.

    So I happily ran the BeOS installer, formatted the partition, and installed Be. I'm now hooked. It is a truly excellent OS.

    The only problem now is that there are not a lot of apps that I use for it. I'd like to see implementations of the Linux libraries so that I can configure;make;make install any old piece of software.

    Heh, now I sound like one of those Windows guys who seem to think that Linux has no apps... :-)*
  • Having said that, I own about ten different Compaq systems (Deskpros, not the awful Presarios) and every single one of them uses the ESS 1868 chipset. It pains me to throw away a perfectly good full-duplex 16-bit sound card and go buy SBLives.

    ESS1868's aren't full duplex, I got conned on that too...

    MX300's are much cheaper and better then SBLives in my opinion, and BeOS seems to support them, there are linux drivers (a few problems with them but most everything works), and the windows drivers.. yeow, it screams.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • It's not limited to 500mb.
    In fact, I don't even use the image. I've been using BeOS since r3 as my toy OS. Just open up the Drive Partitioner (cannot remember the name, but it's in preferences in the Be menu) and repartition/make a new parititon. Then, bust open a trusty bash shell in Terminal and run "Installer" and boom, install onto new partition.
  • First, Be started running on PowerPC hardware. The original BeBoxes had dual PPC 603 processors and generally looked really wicked. You can see one at roducts/bebox/dual603ds.html [] (the LEDs in front show relative processor activity. Very neat.)

    Now what I'm wondering is why Be didn't make a personal release of PR5 available for the MacOS. So they can't get it to boot from an image, forcing you to install it on a separate partition---SO??? That's the way all the other PR releases have been and, frankly, I don't see any reason to not support the Mac seeing as there is a version of PR5 available for sale. And you can't argue 'support costs' because most people who install Be tend to know what the hell they're doing with their machines.


  • i installed bootman after loading beos from a floppy.. rebooted, it showed bootman, i chose BeOS and be worked and all, then i rebooted and chose windows (the os on my main drive) and it couldnt boot, because bootman overwrite EZ-BIOS, so i restored my old MBR and its fixed, then I realized becuase I had installed bootman in beos when beos was booted from a floppy..... EZ-BIOS doesnt load when you boot a floppy..... so anyway i booted beos from inside windows that way ez-bios would be loaded but when I started bootman it said it couldnt read from /0/raw...because ezbios wouldnt let it, so im stuck with booting from a disk

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • yeah thats how I did it, but it said it couldnt read masterdrive/0/raw ... because my EZ-BIOS overlay sits on there and offsets everything a sector so like for bootman to work it has to go on 1 not 0 , but doesnt do that so im stuck booting from floppy.. its fine just slow

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • hmm, ill disable my boot from floppy.... forgot about CTRL+A, i never pay attention to the ez-bios message =).... as for an ide controller, im getting one soon cause i want the ata66 and stuff, which means ill be able to install BeOS bootman ... what I found weird is how BeOS was able to mount the ezbios drive w/o ez-bios loaded... thank god it didnt do damage!!

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • Why did you say a Promise controller? will any IDE controller work in my board?

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • " to the 500meg image, but you can simply run the be installer and install it onto a full drive/partition, so now be is on my second drive..."

    as i said ,... i know its not limited, and im using it on my 2.5 gig drive now =)

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • IMO, Specs are much more important than source. Nobody (except Be) is going to seriously do anything with the highly optimised, very complicated BeOS source anyway.

    Just like no one but Linus Torvolds is ever going to do anything with the Linux kernel source?

    Source lets people outside the devlopment team fix bugs and add new drivers.

  • Oh stop being such a curmudgeon! Be is not trying to rip anybody off or screw them with some ulterior proprietary motives. These guys are hardly making any profit (I can't see how they are), they've bent backwards to try to attract and please developers. Come off it. These are a bunch of guys who decided to make a new OS from the ground up, incorporating modern design techniques and trying to escape the cruft of legacy OSs. And I think they've done a _damn_ good job. The reason you should develop for Be? Because the hacker in you wants to play with some new interesting technology. I sure hope that's the reason you work on Linux or BSD. If not, you might as well just go back to being a rank and file code grinder.
  • I keep hearing that Be is complaining that Apple won't open the specs they need to do their stuff. I'm left wondering, however, if this is simply an excuse of some sort.
    There are quite a few open-source OS's that already run on the G3 and G4. These include:
    mkLinux (Not made by Apple anymore, but someone else is developing it)
    NetBSD (I'm pretty sure there's a Mac port of this)

    What specs could Be POSSIBLY need from Apple in order to complete their port when there are at least 4 open-source OS's out there that had NO problem moving from the 603s and 604s to the G3s and G4s.

  • What makes you think that it's illegal to reverse engineer Apple's hardware? Besides, Apple, as a company, obviously fully supports the non-Apple efforts to have Linux on the Mac, otherwise I'd hardly think they'd dedicate a small section of their website to links and information about linux on the PPC. []
    I believe Be blaming Apple for the fact they haven't done a port to the G3 is an excuse, and a poor one at that. HOW difficult could it be to port BeOS from the 9500/9600/8500/8600 series of 604 and 604e based machines to the G3 machines when the ppclinux team got it working several days after the machines came out. Please.
  • Linux has a larger group of users because it has been around much longer, (yea and the Open Source thing.) But face it. Most people don't use Linux for the Open Source aspect. They use it for the free aspect. A bunch of OSS people built up Linux to a point where regular people chose it over say BSD because thought both were free, Linux had more active development. I can tell you right now that very few people care of Linux and its freeness. In fact, if all you guys would develop BSD as actively, people would flock to it because of the BSD license. BeOS just gained an obsence number of users in the last 5 days. Sure lots won't keep it on their machine, just like lots of people who buy linux CDs don't keep it on their machine. But say 1/3 do. Thats like 100,000 users! Sure not as big as Linux's several million, but quite significant. When OpenGL and BONE come out, this will be the situation. One can choose Linux with its marginally better hardware support (for new stuff anyway. A lot of the linux drivers are really old stuff and that doesn't really matter to tell the truth. In fact, BeOS already supports the Aureal Vortex chips, unlike Linux.) and better software support, or BeOS with its easier interface, faster system, passable software support, and super kick ass multimedia support.
  • Is it a little disturbing to you that this thing has the Linux icon? Sure I can kind of understand that this is the FreeBe version FOR Linux, but wouldn't the Be icon be more appropriate as its is BEOS for linux? Or is the author trying to take advantage of the fact that an article filed under linux has a much better chance of getting in? (Actually I'm not trolling. You wouldn't believe the alternative OS stuff that gets ignored on /. That neverwinter nights thing really pissed me off (where neverwinter nights for Linux was the only one posted on /. even though the BeOS version had been announced a month before.))
  • I'm not talking about the OSS community. I'm talking about all the commercial developers using Linux for their products. You can bet if FreeBSD had as much developer support they would use that instead.
  • Opps. Sorry, Haven't been keeping track of the OSS modules lately. However, the vortex drivers are still in beta.
  • There is a difference between working and advanced. A laser sight rifle is really advanced, but a bazooka is a lot more destructive. I was talking about advanced in the sense of newer software design. However, the BeOS is microkernel done right, and is a big improvement on monolithic kernels. I have tried restarting the different servers. Aside from the app server (which can't be restarted becase it has to be there to run the script) most of the other servers can be restarted. In fact, most changes in options are done this way. Change network settings? Change it and the system reboots the net server. Same thing for the media server. And BeOS does not run a gigantic server process, there are quite a few independant ones, and they are all modular. This comes in the form of stability, scalability, and flexibility. A badly implemented server can't take the kernel out, (badly written drivers tend to do this in NT), the server load can be distributed over many procs both on a process level and on a thread level (a BeOS system has over 100 threads going at bootup.) and flexibility comes from the ability to modify or replace those servers on the fly.
  • Actually a fairly functional BeOS gets down to 2 meg. Quite a bit bigger than QNX, but still not horribaly bloated.
  • Actually, very little is built into the kernel. (Its a microkernel OS. Even networking is relegated to the net server, until BONE at least.) The CODECS are loaded dynamically by the media server. The reason its fast is beacuse BeOS is very good at moving large amounts of media data around with low overhead.
  • There is no reason to use a kernel config file. its not linux you know. Just go to preferences, swap, and move the slider down to a sane level!
  • NO, usually you just restart networking, like in Linux (using a graphical applet, of course).
    The problem with the 3c509 driver is, as I understand, that it's not written properly, so it does not interact with the configuration system correctly.
    It's there, in the "readme".

  • You can have up to 1024x728 in 16 (or 8? don't remember) with VESA driver which is included, if the card complyes with VESA 2.0, and the odds are quite good.

    This in case you do not find a driver for your card. BTW, you can visit BeNews, they have some info on this VESA stuff.

  • There is a nice SB16 driver that you can download from It's here []

  • You are welcome.
    It was my experience that BeOS is very stable, unlike Windows.
  • The Geek Port was an ultracool direct connection to the system bus, so you could attach your OWN stuff and communicate with it. Of course, there is some buffering circuitry in between, but basically you were in direct contact with the bus.

    And no, I don't have one of those dual PPC BeBox-es, with the running lights (CPU load indicators), but I wish I did.

  • Actually, there is a 3c509 driver floating around, and if you go to, ang go to the "forum" section, there is this "support" forum where people that complained of not 3c509 not working, were contacted by the author of the driver. I got it this way, but I am not sure I am allowed to distribute the driver (I didn't find the driver on BeBits, so I guess it's not totally redistributable).

    Anyway, the guy's handle is H-kon (one of the site admins at begroovy).
    Good luck!

  • Yes, but you have to download the new driver for BeOS 5 from the RealTek site (

    I don't have a RTL 8139-based netcard myself, but was browsing yesterday night through the realtek site, and was amazed that they have a separate driver for BeOS 4.x and 5.

  • Uhh..bzzt..incorrect

    Slashdot is a podium site for Linux advocates. It's no surprise it's readers favor Linux over NT, 9x, BeOS, MacOS, PalmOS, FreeBSD, or anything else you can think of. Head over to and tell me which OS the majority of readers preffer there, hint hint, it starts with a "B"
  • It's quite simple. Be Inc wanted to go the "legal" way instead of reverse engineering as Linux has done to create it's port. Be Inc is a company, meaning they are very accessable for lawsuits. It's simply not worth it
  • Do you know what the funny part is? The same thing can be said about Linux.

    "Oh it's just another open source operating system without good drivers, applications, games, or hardware vendor support. Redhat has repackeged someone else's work, and still can't make a profit on it"

    So uhh..why should we use Linux when one of the *BSD is available for the same price?

    I'll tell you exactly what BeOS has that Linux does not. Innovation, and a group of users interested in using what works, not what's politically correct in the geek world - See "Open source must be everywhere"
  • 1. BeOS already runs on most Macintoshes up to G3. It does not run on G3/G4 as Apple refused to release the necessary specs to Be Inc. No G3/4 hack was made due to fear of lawsuits, and generally lack of time/money needed to devote programmers for this. x86 was a much more profitable architecture, and so BeOS was ported to it.

    2. BeOS is for the major part,closed source. JLG already stated that "The kernel is ours" Unless Be Inc goes under, don't expect to see the code released.

    Personally, I'm quite happy with it being closed source, and so are the majority of BeOS users. We preffer what works, not what's OSS Politically correct.
  • Call me an idiot then. Win98 partition on a dual Pentium II 400. I need it for running my son's games, and it is easier developing DOS games using native DJGPP than using the Unix-for-DOS version.


    If I didn't have to pay for Win2k, I'd load that up instead just for the SMP support. Windows has its uses - although I only boot into it once a week or so.

  • What are you using to provide support for ESS 1868 in 4.5.2? It's not part of the standard drivers set so where did you download it?

    - JoeShmoe
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • Despite being one model number apart, the 1869 appears to be nothing like the 1868. I suspect when the 1869 came out, it was powerful enough that it could emulate the SB Pro, much in the way modern SB cards still emulate the older ones for backward compatibility.

    The 1868 isn't the same, it's just bare bones business audio. Everything on Compaq's websites seems to point to specialized drivers.

    - JoeShmoe

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • Yeah, yeah, I know that the driver game is a crap shoot, and if are a true nerd, you build a system from scratch choosing components that work with your target OS.

    Having said that, I own about ten different Compaq systems (Deskpros, not the awful Presarios) and every single one of them uses the ESS 1868 chipset. It pains me to throw away a perfectly good full-duplex 16-bit sound card and go buy SBLives. Even worse, on the newer EN models the sound is integrated on the mobo, so it's not just the cost of the card, it's giving up a precious PCI slot.

    ESS and Sound Blaster Pro are practically blood relatives, so if there is anyone out there that whip up some ESS 1868 support for BeOS, I know at least a hundred Compaq users that would be extremely grateful.

    I mean for crying out loud...just how many Echo and NewClear users are there? Certainly fewer than the number of ppl who own Deskpros...

    - JoeShmoe

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • Hmm, you might want to brush up [] on your knowledge of BeOS. Try this [] if you're in a hurry.

    Media Kit is particularly excellent. It's better designed than Quicktime but not as broad or feature-rich.

    The whole OS is C++ based with beautifully clean and simple APIs. It's pervasively multithreaded, from the file system to graphics and IO.

    This really is an awesome OS. Too bad there's not enough room for it in the market today.
  • Running BeOS under VMWare is not a very cool thing to do. BeOS access APIC features more often than other operating systems, and that makes BeOS under VMWare very slow. Look out for plex86 for BeOS! You also want to run BeOS natively if you want good media performance and low latency in drivers. You simply dont run BeOS "just for the applications"... yes, that's sad but true... at least for now.. The situation should improve as more developers and people try out BeOS.
  • BeOS runs under VMWare? The VMWare website claims that it does not! In fact, it explicitly lists BeOS as an OS that doesn't run under VMWare. Could you please enlighten me (perhaps privately, if this is getting too OT), as to how you've gotten this to work? Thanks very much! Adam
    This is my .sig. It isn't very big.
  • This is utterly untrue. I can't even begin to imagine where you got this misinformation from. Did you just make it up because it sounded good? The absence of a license agreement does not indicate that the entity that holds the rights to the software has a)given up his or her rights to such software or b)that the user is not legally able to use the software. Precedent would suggest that the copyright holder retains the right to the software, although the entity would be unable to coerce a user of the software to abide by any retroactive license agreement. The user would be unable to use Be's intellectual property as his or her own, but would not be required to abide by, say a future clause against reverse engineering or decompilation of code.
  • The image files extracted from the tgz and exe files are identical. However, there are some differences noticable.

    1. If you want to enable SMP, boot off the disk supplied in the tgz. SMP is disabled after booting Windows.
    2. If you boot BeOS from an ext2 partition, BeOS will be unable to use virtual memory. BeOS' VM works on FAT, not on ext2.

    People who are experiencing driver problems, try the driver section at BeBits []. My Rtl8139 ethernet start working after installing a fresh driver.

    Well, I played with it for a few hours. Looks very solid and has a lot of potential. A few remarks, however... I did a few ping tests and they showed a pretty slow response from the BeOS system (3 times as slow as from a Linux system). I tried Quake2 but I probably installed something wrong. It runs almost frozen.
  • Beware, this question is likely mired in ignorance, so feel free to moderate it out, but... Would it not be possible, if there were sufficient interest, for the Open Source Community to port BeOS to the Macintosh hardware platform? I'm suggesting that, with the infinite resources of this community, we could, almost by trial and error and help from LinuxPPC (don't know if that even applies) get another OS for the still viable Macintosh platform. Perhaps some sort of deal could be struck that they adopt the GPL if we helped in this regard?
  • by Skinka ( 15767 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @04:10AM (#1156560)
    You can find it at BeOS Network Drivers [] section at tucows.
  • by MrP- ( 45616 ) <> on Sunday April 02, 2000 @03:14AM (#1156561)
    i got it the 28th and love it soo much.. im going to buy pro even though its not much different than the pe, because pe is limited to the 500meg image, but you can simply run the be installer and install it onto a full drive/partition, so now be is on my second drive.. i wish i could install bootman though, my master drive is 8.4 gig and my bios doesnt see it so i have an overlay on it (WD's EZ-BIOS), so bootman overwrites that and I cant boot my my master drive, so im stuck with a bootdisk now... but hell this was the reason i never really installed linux before (cept zipslack and winlinux2000), so now maybe i will and put lilo on a boot disk or whatever... anyway i love beos, everything of mine works accept sound card, only my tv tuner and cd works with it, but im sure a driver upgrade will come someday... if you wanna check out some shots of my desktop go here [] (ill be adding more almost daily)

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @07:47AM (#1156562)
    Actually, Amiga was the most advanced OS of its day too. But lets define advanced shall we? If you're talking about networking/server type stuff, BeOS is kind of in the dark ages. If your talking multimedia stuff, BeOS is quite advanced. Look at the rest of the field. All the *NIXs are out, because even if it works, the monolithic kernel design is not very advanced. Then take a look at the other microkernels. Mach is pretty good, but most Mach OSs have a monolithic system server, and Mach IPC is not that great. Take a look at NT. Its a microkernel, it has a HAL, it has mad hardware acceleration, but it has a crufty API and has a lot of crappy code. Take BeOS. You've got a really nice microkernel, a good driver model (interupt handles in kernel, accelerants in server space) a well desgined server model (app, media, audio, graphics, net, input, etc. You can take down a server should it crash, or should you upgrade it, without taking down the whole system. For example, I added a new filer to the input server that would detect my window key and use it to launch the be menu. All I did was copy it into the add-ons directory, and wrote a shell script to kill the input server, wait 5 seconds and restart it. Voila, on the field upgrade. Then there is the BeOS API, which offers you a lot of direct access to hardware and in general makes decent use of acceleration, then you have all the BeOS system services like translators, add-ons, replicants, etc. In fact, aside from a good OpenGL pipline (which should be released soon) the only thing BeOS is lacking is an implementation of COM.
  • by PurpleBob ( 63566 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @10:12AM (#1156563)
    How the heck many times does this have to be pointed out? Every time someone rants about hypocrisy on Slashdot, it's about "well, I saw one guy on one article saying (X) is bad, and now on this article someone's saying (X) is good, so why aren't they agreeing?" There's a bunch of different opinions here on Slashdot, and articles on different topics are commented on by different sets of people, who may very likely be weighted toward a certain opinion.

    For example, someone who thinks the GPL is the One True License, and thus refuses to touch BeOS, wouldn't post here unless he wanted to be a troll.
    Someone who reads an article about closed-source games is probably a gamer, and will accept closed-source so they can get their gaming fix.
    Meanwhile, an article on a closed-source version of some Linux program, which people were pushing for an OPEN-source version of, could very well cause open-source supporters to post.

    Finally, you say, "I'm tired of Unix getting beat up on by you people..." Which people? There are people here who like proprietary Unices and people who hate them. Lumping all of Slashdot into some generalization involving "you people" is where you get the impression that there's hypocrisy.
    No more e-mail address game - see my user info. Time for revenge.
  • by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @01:25AM (#1156564)
    Before you talk about how BeOS for Linux is impossible, maybe you should go to BeOS Personal Edition's website [] and read up on it a bit.
  • by aliastnb ( 155659 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @01:45AM (#1156565)
    It's worth noting that if you install using the windows executable, you're presented with a licensing agreement you have to agree to. The usual stuff- will not use it for commercial purposes yadayadayada....

    BUT installing using the linux tarball doesn't actually give you this license. You get the BFS image file, a boot floppy image and a readme file telling you how to install it. No license agreement. In fact, you don't get told about it until you try to use that installation to install a second one. So, I think Be have made a major mistake here- if you're not presented with the agreement you don't have to agree with it. IANAL of course, but if you're not presented with something to agree to, it seems to make sense that you don't have to agree with it.

  • by goingware ( 85213 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @02:12AM (#1156566) Homepage
    The BeOS comes bundled with a limited number of drivers, but there are some third party drivers available.

    I thought there was a 3c509 driver available but a quick search didn't find it. I suggest you ask on BeUserTalk.

    But to find drivers and third-party software for the BeOS, I suggest you try:

    Also, while technical support is not available from Be, Inc. for the personal edition, the BeUserTalk mailing list is very good; many BeOS engineers and experienced users frequent it and answer questions.

    For programmers there is also BeDevTalk and BeCodeTalk.

    Michael D. Crawford

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2000 @01:45AM (#1156567)
    It doesn't run in Linux. The file expands to an image of a beos filesytem and a boot floppy image which you write to a floppy and reboot to run it. Essentially it saves the step of creating a new partition although you can do it later once you got Beos running. Secondly, the 40MB files expands to 580MB of which about 1/3 is used up wrt to the beos filesystem! I tried it out today. Beos is very slick looking but the worst part is a lack of hardware support. It doesn't support my 3com 509 card and many others. This thing doesn't look like crippleware like some people say and looks like the real thing. However you will have to download the development stuff later from their ftp site.
  • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Sunday April 02, 2000 @02:14AM (#1156568) Homepage
    BeOS Personal Edition is a free-beer version of BeOS 5.0 designed to be installed in a 500MB volume file hosted on a local FS instead of in its own partition. It comes in two slightly different packages -- one, already announced before now on /., is to be installed on a Win9x and NT machine. This one is designed be installed on a Linux machine.

    Except for the fact that it's located in an existing FS instead of in its own partition, it is a completely separate OS.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • Ok, I keep seeing people post stuff that isn't true about the BeOS "Personal edition" so here are the _facts_
    BeOS 5 PE is NOT a trial version, crippled or an "evaluation".
    It is the entire OS, all of it.. just the same BeOS "Pro Version"
    It IS BeOS..
    Another thing.
    The title of the article is wrong.. The linux "version" just includes a readme, be partition image and a bootdisk image.
    Copy the image to /beos, use the boot disk and you're off.
    Im guessing it's just for users of OS's other then windows, since they wouldn't be able to run the installer exe that the windows "version" needs.
    Also, BeOS "PE" does support SMP, and various other things.
    You just have to use the bootdisk, instead of using the windows loader.
    (Windows 9x disables all the other CPU's)
    Also, you are NOT limited to just the BFS image partition.
    Once you have it running, you can use Installer to copy/install BeOS (your current setyp) to any other partition.
    So, make some free space, run BeOS from the image and install it there.

    Summary: BeOS 5 PE is the entire OS, it has no limitations.
    The only thing different between PE and the Pro version is what Be has told you. Realplayer, mp3 encoders (which you can download anyway) etcetc.
    Do not let anyone fool you, including Be.
  • by Xenex ( 97062 ) <xenex AT opinionstick DOT com> on Sunday April 02, 2000 @01:57AM (#1156570) Journal
    Warning - this will be marked as a troll :)

    Free BeOS R5, aka, BeOS 5 Personal Edition was release on the 28th of March. The "Personal Edition" is made up of an compressed disk image that "uncompresses" to 500meg (only around 200 is used).

    The Personal Edition only works in conjuction with another OS (however this can be worked around, see [sorry if you get /.ed skippy]). The OS's that can be used with the personal edition are Win9x and NT/2k, and Linux on the Intel platform. This is due to the fact that Apple will not supply the required hardware specifications to Be (not because of the NeXT over BeOS crap, just because Apple when with NeXT doesn't mean Be would ditch a platform's user base, because when your company is that small, you can't ditch users by choice).

    This "BeOS for Linux" is the same OS that was released for Windows on the 28th. It DOES NOT have Linux, or Windows, running behind it. It is a full release of BeOS R5, only lacking a few commercial apps (just like some Linux distros). A belive the Linux "version" boots off a floppy just as the NT/2k version does.

    If anyone wants any non-my-video/sound/net/isdn/winmodem-doesn't-work- inBeOS help, or BeOS info in general, feel happy to e-mail me at the above address (figure it out :)

    *This is a repeat post. Bring back CmdrTaco and Hemos, their posts are usually OK... :)*

    *This post powered by NetPositive on BeOS R5*

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner